PORT-AU-PRINCE — For decades, hundreds of nonprofit organizations have swooped into Haiti with the goal of “helping Haitians.” With each voyage, the volunteers carried luggage stuffed with medicines and bandages for temporary clinics, school supplies for an upcoming semester, even power saws for constructing bridges.
These nonprofit volunteers, often returning on numerous occasions over many years, also brought along skills from their own formal education and work experience — nursing, construction, teaching, agriculture. Among those who arrived after the 2004 coup d’etat, some remember a general peacefulness at the sight of blue-helmeted United Nations troops milling about at Toussaint Louverture International Airport.
Now, with Haiti hitting rock bottom, many of those nonprofit volunteers say the solution to the current gang crisis is for the U.N. or Organization of American States (OAS) to intervene more aggressively.
This installment looks at the pros and cons of bringing in international forces such as UN or OAS troops, particularly Haitians’ resistance to foreigners.
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